CAFOD disappointed by St Petersburg G8

 CAFOD says the G8 Summit in St Petersburg was an opportunity missed, to deliver on the development promises of the previous year's meeting in Gleneagles. The Gleneagles Summit had seen world leaders make promises to increase aid by $50 billion a year, to cancel the debt of the world's poorest countries, and to give poor countries the power to determine their own economic policies. The last twelve months have seen some of those promises delivered on, such as debt relief, but others on aid have fallen behind schedule, and talks on trade have stalled. CAFOD says the G8 in St Petersburg offered a commitment to build a peaceful and democratic Africa and help tackle HIV/AIDS, but they gave no details on how they would achieve this and no timetable. The agency welcomed a promise to put development on next year's meeting in Germany, but is disappointed that the developing world has to wait another 12 months to see progress. CAFOD's Head of Public Policy George Gelber said: "campaigners wanted to see the world's most powerful countries make good on their promises to tackle poverty in the developing world at the St Petersburg Summit. However, this G8 failed to come up either with the detail or the timeline to give us the confidence that those pledges will happen. Development will be kept on G8 life support for another year until world leaders meet again in Germany. "The G8 leaders gave a one month deadline to negotiators at the World Trade Organisation. CAFOD wants to see a round of trade talks that deliver development as promised. Deadlines will continue to be missed unless the US and EU compromise on their positions, or even worse they will force developing countries to agree to a deal not in the interests of the poor. "CAFOD will keep up the pressure over the next year to make sure fighting poverty remains on the next G8 and beyond until we have made poverty history. It is vital that Angela Merkel puts development at the heart of Germany's Presidencies of the EU and G8 in 2007."

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